Most people think that you are automatically granted your certificate of registration by the U.S. Copyright Office once your application is filed. Actually, The Copyright Office researches every claim of ownership and can change or deny your application if it does not meet their standard of registration.
After your application is submitted to the U.S. Copyright Office, it is assigned to an examiner, who will independently assess whether or not your registration meets their standard for registration. The examiner will conduct their own research in order to make that assessment. That research can include reviewing your application, reviewing/listening to all of the materials you have uploaded, searching the Copyright Office's databases for potential conflicts, searching other publicly accessible sources for additional evidence, and requesting supporting evidence from you directly (such as digital or physical proof of the publication of your content).
There are a number of reasons why your application could be denied. The most common are:
- The content you are trying to register includes other copyrights created/owned by others that you neglected to disclose on your application.
For example, you may be trying to register a book that includes photographs. If you neglect to disclose the authorship of those photographs, your application may be denied.
- The content you are trying to register has already been registered.
If you attempt to register a copyright that has already been registered, your application will be denied. If you are unsure of whether or not something has already been registered with the Copyright Office, you can search their database here. If you need to correct a registration, you can file a supplemental registration.
- There was an issue with your content submission. You included additional files in your submission that were not listed on your application or your submission did not include the titles listed on your application.
For example, if you are registering a collection of sound recordings, you should not include additional files such as biographical information, images, etc. For each registration, you should include the files that embody the titles you have listed.
- The examiner determined that you are not the owner of the titles you are trying to register after discovering additional evidence.
The Copyright Office may seek other references besides your application and file submission to validate your claim of ownership. In doing so, they might discover other authors or owners that are associated with the content you are registering. If that occurs, your application may be denied.
- The date of publication information (date of release) was inaccurate at the time of registration.
If your content was registered as a group of unpublished (unreleased) works, but your works were actually released or the titles listed have different release dates, your application may be denied.
- The wrong application type was filed.
Cosynd automatically determines the best application type to use to file your registrations. Rarely, we may file the wrong application on your behalf because of recent rule changes or human error. If for some reason your application is denied because of a filing error on our part, we will refile your application at no extra cost to you.